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Security Knowledge Center

How-to guides, tips and more to help you stay safe online.

Protect yourself against phishing.

Phishing is a common form of online fraud where criminals try to "bait" you into giving them personal information by sending you emails, texts, phone calls, or social media posts that appear to be from a trustworthy source. 

They typically use this information to commit identity theft and fraud. That's why it's so important to protect yourself.

Young mother with child Young mother with child Young mother with child

Top 5 anti-phishing tips

  • Don't click on links or attachments included in unknown or suspicious emails and texts.
  • Hover over links to reveal the website's URL and see where the link really goes.
  • Be suspicious of emails that have grayed out "CC:" and "To:" lines as they may have been sent to a mass distribution list.
  • Check the sender's domain name in the email address (john.doe@schwab.com) to ensure it matches what you'd expect to see.
  • Create two email accounts, one for personal and a second for more public distribution; use spam filters on both.

For more tips, read our guide on phishing.

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Protect yourself from scams.

Scams are on the rise, as scammers try to convince you to send them money or provide information under the belief it's for a legitimate purpose, or going to a trusted recipient. That’s why it's important to take extra steps to protect yourself.

Top 5 tips for avoiding scams

  •  Always verbally verify money movement instructions with the recipient and ask for supporting documentation.
  • Perform your own due diligence. Research the recipient/product/person to validate the legitimacy of the request or search for scams/complaints associated with the other party.
  • Use appropriate disbursement channels/methods to make payments. Avoid prepaid debit cards, gift cards, and digital currency.
  • When you can, view goods in person, pay after services are completed, and send money only to people you’ve met in person.
  • Use services that have purchase protection and/or an escrow service, especially for high-dollar transactions.

For more tips, read our guide on scams.

How to respond to fraud or identity theft.

If you suspect you've been the victim of fraud or identity theft, taking immediate action may help limit the impact. That's why we've created this checklist for you.

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Top 4 actions to take

  • Immediately report the fraud or identity theft to your financial institution and follow any instructions they provide regarding your account.
  • Contact the fraud department of your creditors, such as credit card issuers, phone companies, banks, and lenders to dispute unauthorized charges.
  • Report the crime to your local police. Even though the incident may cross multiple jurisdictions, your local police will file a formal report and refer you to additional resources and agencies that can help.
  • Contact the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion — to request a fraud alert on your account and a freeze on your credit report. Dispute any fraudulent activity on your credit report. Contact information for all three credit bureaus is provided below.

For more details, download our identity theft checklist.

Browse additional security topics.

Articles on how to better protect you and your family from abuses and scams.

  • How to spot an investment scam

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    Learn the features and tactics of common investment scams.

  • What elder financial exploitation looks like

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    Be prepared to spot elder financial exploitation schemes by following these tips and watching for cues.

  • 5 ways to help protect your financial data

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    Tips for how to keep your financial data more secure.

Common questions

Additional steps you can take.

Contact

  • Have questions about security at Schwab?

    Call us at 800-435-4000.